We asked Zaidi Hassan, Concierge Manager at Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, Malaysia, to gather the savviest sight-seeing suggestions he could find—not just his own, but also those of the local connoisseurs he works with every day at the Resort. Langkawi has all the attributes of a tropical island idyll: fine beaches, labyrinthine mangroves and a hilly interior clad in ancient rain forest.
For a spectacular view of the island, take the Langkawi Cable Car 708 metres (2,323 feet) up Mount Machincang. For the first time, visitors can observe at close range the unique geological formations of the Machincang range, which was formed around 500 million years ago. On a clear day, vistas extend as far as southern Thailand, and the views at sunset are arguably more memorable still.
Just 25 minutes from the resort, the 99 East Golf Club offers a distinctly Asian golf experience. The 7,330-yard championship course draws many of its design references from Australian and even Scottish links courses, but incorporates native forest, wetlands and an orchard valley, as well as the signature rice terraces. Long wild grasses and reeds dominate the out-of-play areas, and views across the island dominate from the tee box to the monster par-5 sixth hole.
The Langkawi Geopark trails take you past dramatic coastlines, hidden coves and majestic peaks, where sedimentary structures, fossils and landforms preserve records of the past. Marvel at Langkawi’s unique geological history etched in the landscapes of sea cliffs and caves dating back some 500 million years. The Kilim Trail tour begins aboard a vessel that journeys on the water toward Kilim Karst Geoforest Park, which showcases the unique formation of limestone pinnacles. The trail continues through several points of interest such as Pulau Anak Tikus, Tasik Langgun, Teluk China Mati and Gua Kelawar.
Paddle the Mangroves
For those who’d rather be on the water than in it, a kayaking trip through the mangroves of the Sungai Kilim Nature Park in the company of a naturalist guide is a treat. Learn to tell a sea eagle from a Brahminy kite and identify different varieties of hornbills, orioles and racquet-tailed drongos. With luck, you may also see sea otters, dolphins, schools of sergeant major fish and troupes of macaque monkeys on the banks.